Document Type


Publication Date



Springer Nature


A fast-growing stalagmite from the central California coast provides a high-resolution record of climatic changes synchronous with global perturbations resulting from the catastrophic drainage of proglacial Lake Agassiz at ca. 8.2 ka. High frequency, large amplitude variations in carbon isotopes during the 8.2 ka event, coupled with pulsed increases in phosphorus concentrations, indicate more frequent or intense winter storms on the California coast. Decreased magnesium-calcium ratios point toward a sustained increase in effective moisture during the event, however the magnitude of change in Mg/Ca suggests this event was not as pronounced on the western North American coast as anomalies seen in the high northern latitudes and monsoon-influenced areas. Nevertheless, shifts in the White Moon Cave record that are synchronous within age uncertainties with cooling of Greenland, and changes in global monsoon systems, suggest rapid changes in atmospheric circulation occurred in response to freshwater input and associated cooling in the North Atlantic region. Our record is consistent with intensification of the Pacific winter storm track in response to North Atlantic freshwater forcing, a mechanism suggested by simulations of the last deglaciation, and indicates this intensification led to increases in precipitation and infiltration along the California coast during the Holocene.


© The Author(s) 2017 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

Supplemental files included.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.